26th Annual Retail Theft Survey by Jack L. Hayes International

The latest report from Jack L. Hayes International focused on retail theft has been published. Highlights of the survey include

Employee theft is perceived by many to be the most severe problem facing industry today! Many people often think of theft and abuse in companies as being isolated acts, which in themselves cost an organization little. Unfortunately, this is untrue! It is also not true that most employees are caught stealing inexpensive items such as ‘pens, pencils, and paper-clips’ from their employers. Over the years, Hayes International has witnessed a steady and significant rise in this serious problem. Each year thousands of employees are caught stealing from their employers and co-workers. Furthermore, our studies reflect that this group of thieves are being caught stealing far more than a few insignificant supplies.

With the results being

One out of every 39.5 employees was apprehended for theft from their employer in 2013. (Based on comparison data of over 3.0 million employees.)

Apprehensions: Survey participants apprehended 78,085 dishonest employees in 2013, up 6.5% from 2012.

Recoveries: Dollars recovered from dishonest employee apprehensions totaled over $55 million in 2013, an increase of 2.5% from 2012.

Investigating staff actions further

To further evaluate the severity of employee theft, Hayes International analyzed over 19,000 randomly selected Applicant Review questionnaires (pre-employment ‘honesty tests’) given by IntegriView to retail job applicants nationwide.

Of these 19,165 job applicants, 12,283 (64.1%) were rated as “low risk” and 3,700 (19.3%) were rated as “high risk”, due to their admissions of previous wrongdoings, and their attitudes regarding honest and dishonest behavior. (Note: The remaining 3,182 applicants (16.6%) were rated as “moderate risk”.) When comparing the admissions of “high risk” and “low risk” job applicants, it becomes most obvious why some applicants are considered a hiring risk and others are not.

Previous theft admissions for the group of 3,700 “high risk” job applicants totaled $256,050, or $69.20 per applicant, while the admissions for the group of 12,283 “low risk” job applicants totaled $71,930, or $5.86 per applicant. It is generally estimated the correct dollar amount for stolen money and merchandise is approximately 10 times the admitted amount. Therefore, based upon admissions made on The Applicant Review questionnaire, the average “high risk” job applicant was responsible for the theft of $692.03, compared to $58.56 for the average “low risk” job applicant.


The full report can be found here. Well worth a read.


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